/  07.19.2022

By now, most people have heard about the muppet character Rosita ignoring two Black girls at a Sesame Place parade on Saturday (July 16). The incident was captured on video by the children’s mother and shared on social media the following day. Within 24 hours, the viral footage received a response from celebs like Kelly Rowland and prompted Sesame Place to make a public apology.

Soon after Sesame Place released a statement denying any racial bias, more videos of Black kids being ignored by Rosita and other Sesame Street characters flooded social media. In some cases, instead of being ignored, the kids received outright unwanted attention. In one video, the Telly Monster character bounces its stomach against a Black baby until she falls. Another video shows the Bert character making his way down a parade route. He stops and high-fives all of the kids, but when he gets to a Black girl at the end of the line, he appears to slap her face. The girl looks shocked as Elmo raps in the background.

Today (July 19), TMZ shared that the family of the girls from the original viral video has hired a lawyer. The mother, who goes by Jodi on Instagram, has retained B’Ivory LaMarr as an attorney. According to TMZ, the family and their lawyer are speaking with witnesses and the possibility of a lawsuit is on the table. “While we hate to rush to judgment to consider ‘race’ as the motivating factor to explain the performer’s actions, such actions both before and after the young girl’s request only lead to one conclusion,” LaMarr shared with the outlet. Jodi’s family is reportedly “completely appalled” by the situation.

Yesterday (July 18), Sesame Place released a second statement following the backlash. “We sincerely apologize to the family for their experience in our park on Saturday,” it began. “For over 40 years Sesame Place has worked to uphold the values of respect, inclusion and belonging. We are committed to doing a better job making children and families feel special, seen and included when they come to our parks,” the statement concluded. There have been no additional public responses from the park at this time.

 

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